This dialogue between imagine art after artists & filmmakers Florence Ayisi, Didier de Masso, and Bindu Mehra ran until 17 January 2010, after which the artists were invited to discuss ideas for new work. The dialogues have now ended, but you can see and engage with the development of the selected proposals here.
Everybody walks a different path in their life. You have your journey and l have mine. My siblings find it strange that l don’t remember much of my early childhood. They don’t understand how l could forget important family events like how we celebrated the christimas holidays or grieved and buried our dead. They get even more confused when l fail to recollect memories of my first day at school or put together their birthdays. Why do l not remember? Why is everything such a blur when it is so vividly clear to others? I know l do not have amnesia and neither am l an old woman whose memory has been eroded by old age. Do you think l am deliberately blocking childhood memories to avoid telling you the truth? Some events in our lives are just not important or – are they, really? Why should l remember my first day at school or my brother’s birthday when l am not his mother? How can l be expected to remember the names of dead relatives if l do not know how l was as a child? Did l ever smile or play children games? I have already said some memories are more important than others. I can still smell the fresh blood of my first menstrual cycle, the boys’ laughter when l stained my dress uniform at school – the peeing in my chair when the repeated visits to the toilet were denied by my primary class teacher. How can l forget my mother’s scolding and insults – my deliberate seduction of Agrippa, the son of my father’s mistress? How can l not remember being rescued by my first love or – did l really have a first love? Oh, yes – Jim West! Jim West, the cowboy?? I was in my sixth grade – no, my seventh grade and walking home with a school friend. She was ranting about this new boy in class and how she was in love with him. I was thirteen years old and supposed to be an innocent virgin with acceptable, hot crushes over boys my own age. My friend thought l had gone crazy when l confided to her about my boyfriend who made love to me every night. ” Jim West, the cowboy? ” she asked. ” Yes, ” l admitted boldly. ” But – Jim West is on t.v. ” she said. ” l know – ” l smiled, ” Jim comes out of t.v. every night to be with me. ” l remember all the humiliation and shame which accompanied my thirteenth birthday. Everything else before that is only a blur and…this is my story.
We are very sad to hear that Goddy Leye passed away last night.
Sometimes we don’t tell the truth not because we lie but only because the truth wouldn’t be believable. Like victims of war, some women and men carry physical and psychological scars that cannot be altered. I’m the child that never played children games.
Yes, Father – l know other times we think we know people but truth is, nobody knows everybody. You don’t know me so, don’t judge me.
She also said children shouldn’t ask questions – that they should respect and obey their parents. Wasn’t l an obedient child? Couldn’t he have strayed into another man’s bed? Shouldn’t he have been drawn to another woman’s child?
It must be a curse that one should drink their blood and devour their own flesh.
I’m tired of carrying the weight of dead people and I want to live again.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…forgive me Father, for l have known many sins. It has been 31 years since my last confession. What should l say or shouldn’t say or, should l say anything at all? My silence has not given me my golden glow but selected me for slaughter.
In a crowd l remain invisible and from the sweat and scent of many people l grasp desperately for fresh air. You can’t see me so you can’t touch me but somehow you know I’m there. What people don’t know can’t make their wounds bleed but internal wounds can be fatal so allow me to show some blood.
I see ghosts but you see angels.
Living a lie is having no life and I’m sure you know because in my silence you have also suffered. Why do you look at me like that? I haven’t said anything yet. She said a girl my age shouldn’t look a man in the eye without blushing but she didn’t know I was no longer a girl. I’m a woman now, your woman and l can’t go back to being innocent.
It breaks out hearts to let you know that due to unforeseen circumstances imagine art after will be on hold until further notice.
We started in November 2009 with online dialogues between migrant artists & filmmakers who now live in the UK, and those who stayed in the country of origin. After the dialogues ended, the artists researched ideas for new work. From the many ideas submitted, ten projects were selected in May 2010 for further development.
imagine art after‘s first edition ran from 2005-2008 in association with Guardian Unlimited and Tate Britain. Five works by six artists were commissioned for our first exhibition.
It breaks our hearts to let you know that due to unforeseen circumstances imagine art after will be on hold until further notice.
It feels so good to be back. It was a long breather and what a load of oranges.
Can anyone here me out there?
We will have a summer break until September.
Feel free to update your proposals if you wish. Have a good August!
Get well soon.
Andrew and co